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Ask the Pilot, with Captain Mike Bowers


Q: While I was on a flight from Houston to Honolulu, I noticed that there were two first officers but only one captain. Why is this?
A: Since regulations require two pilots to be on the flight deck, we have one additional first officer on flights of eight to 12 hours to allow the pilots to take breaks in flight. On flights between 12 and 16 hours, we have two additional first officers. For flights longer than 16 hours, we have two full crews, each consisting of two captains and two first officers. Our aircraft have crew-rest facilities where off-duty pilots can rest during breaks.

Do you have a question for Captain Bowers? You can write to him at askthepilot@united.com

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